Audi’s focus on electrified transportation is showcased in its series of e-tron concepts, all very sophisticated approaches to developing future production vehicles for varying classes from city cars to high-performance sports cars. The latest, the A6 L e-tron plug-in hybrid concept, is a foray into the luxury market.
This e-tron exercise is based on the A6 sedan, which features a sporty and athletic appearance and an array of accouterments desired by prestige buyers. The e-tron variant features the same lightweight bodyshell as the production A6 but sports a distinctive single-frame grille with slender crossbars and nearly covered air intakes, signatures of Audi’s e-tron models. Other unique styling cues include a rear diffuser and 21-inch wheels and tires.
Beneath the skin resides a parallel hybrid system integrating a 211 horsepower, 2.0-liter TFSI engine and a 95 horsepower electric motor. Energy for the electric motor is supplied by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack positioned in a collision-protected space at the rear of the car. The A6 L e-tron is designed to operate exclusively on the electric motor, the combustion engine, or a combination of the two. Electric-only range is said to be up to 50 miles at a steady speed of 37 mph. The car’s hybrid control module selects the operating mode best suited for conditions with an emphasis on driving range.
Audi says its first production e-tron model will be the A3 e-tron in 2014, followed by other New Energy Vehicles in following years, with the goal of providing buyers a range of efficient drivetrain options that complement its existing TDI clean diesel, TFSI gasoline, and hybrid choices.